The Very Best Anti Heroes

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So I’ve been talking quite a bit about who’s the very best at being bad guys lately. And I’ve also chatted about some of my favourite villains before. But do you know what I’ve never done on here? Got into who my favourite anti-heroes are- which is why I made this list! I have quite the lineup for you, so lettttts bring out the contestants:

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Dorian Gray– possibly the quintessential anti-hero. What makes his journey so enticing is that he starts off as little more than a blank slate, yet as the story goes on, his little faults were drawn out and painted onto a horrifying canvass! (which, incidentally, is literally the plot for the book 😉 )

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Doctor Faustus– speaking of the ULTIMATE anti-hero, can we get a round of applause for the original schmuck-that-sold-his-soul-to-the-devil?! Louder- not sure he can hear you in hell…

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Macbeth– we’ve got to get a Shakespearean hero in here somewhere. And man, is Macbeth a killer anti-hero- I mean, he’s literally a killer and he’s not much of a squeaky clean hero (out out damn spot… which was technically said by his wife)

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Galharrow– a newbie, but a goodie, Galharrow may be rough around the edges, but he’s wicked funny and remarkably sympathetic (probably one of the nicer ones on this list).

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Prince Jorg– I was so tempted to fill up this list with *all* the Mark Lawrence characters- because I’m pretty confident he’s the king of anti-heroes at this point- but in the end I decided to just go with Jorg because he really takes the biscuit (and stabs you in the face afterwards).

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Narrator from Notes from Underground– this unnamed narrator is quite the misery guts- eaten up with resentment and anguish, he’d give even Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov a run for his money- and that’s saying something!

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Robert Wringhim Colwan– before there were any other confessions related books or movies, this guy was doing the dirty. Possibly crazy or enticed by a demon- who can say!?

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The Godfather– so you come to me on the day of little importance to me and you ask me for an anti hero… and I’m gonna point you in the direction of the original godfather- cos he strokes cats in a menacing manner! (not something he actually does in the book, but whatever)

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Kaz Brekker! Yes, his name comes with an explanation point. It’s deliberate.

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Victor Vale– I feel almost mean putting him on this list, cos he’s so misunderstood… but also technically quite bad 😉

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Celaena Sardothien– okay, some of you may say “she’s not an anti-hero”- and yeah, that’s probably true by now, sorta… but she did literally start out as an assassin and was still happily killing people till book 4 (though most of them technically deserved it)

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Jaime Lannister– just about any hero from GOT would do, but honestly, none have had a bigger turnaround than Jaime. I started out loathing this guy- no one could have convinced me at the start that I’d end up praying he doesn’t die!

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Adelina– Adelina has one of my *favourite* character arcs- which I can’t get into cos of spoilers, but it’s sooooo good (read it)

And we’ll stop at thirteen, cos that seems appropriate for Halloween 🙂

So do you agree with my choices? Who are your favourite anti-heroes? Let me know in the comments!

Blackwing: Taking Fantasy to New Heights

*Received this book off Netgalley in exchange for an honest review- but the crazy gushing you’re about to see is all me*

Blackwing2Wowzers. Bloody hell. Fuck yeah! Honestly, I don’t have anything other than expletive laden exclamations right now. One of the Deep Kings in this book must have cut out my tongue and fed it to the Misery, because Blackwing has left me speechless. Yet even if words are failing me right now, there’s a lot of well-deserved buzz for this book. After reading Liis’ *stunning* review, I just knew I *had to* read it- and by some miracle I was able to get hold of it.

Well, it would be more accurate to say that this book got hold of me- it grabbed me by the throat and throttled me with an intense plot straight away. The reader is flung head first into the Misery and explosive action before you can say “shit there’s a Darling!” (you’ll find out what that is when you read it- no spoilers from me- but trust me that’s what you’ll think). Somehow, as the story winds on, it manages to crank up that initial tension, bit by bit, building to an epic conclusion that no one could predict. Seriously, if you want a well spun tale you’ve come to the right place. Not one thread of Blackwing is out of place- it is an exquisite tapestry of twisted, inventive, mindboggling magic! There’s nothing you can do with a book like this other than step back and admire the view. And if I sound possessed- that’s cos I’m still in its thrall.

One of the most spellbinding things about here is easily the writing. I could wax lyrical about how beautiful every inch of this book is- but what really got to me was how strikingly distinctive the voice was- so much so that the main character leapt off the page. Don’t ask me how, but that grouchy, wry tone will charm the pants off you. I was chuckling along with his backhanded remarks (“standard fortress stuff” teehee), eagerly awaiting where his tale would lead and by the end of the story I wanted to take him out for a pint… Until I remembered he wasn’t real.

And that was just the thing- I left reality behind when I read Blackwing. Atmospheric and creepy, wading into this world was a treat in its own right. Layer upon layer of nameless wonder had me totally absorbed. Even though the palate for this world was suitably grim and gutsy, it felt surprisingly vibrant, and, most importantly, *different*. Rarely do I find any book that feels as new as this fresh-faced fantasy.

There was more to it than that though. Full of broken, scarred and near-ruined characters this story was to its core about humanity. Speaking of heartache and hinting at redemption, the hidden depths sold me more than anything else. No doubt, this book took me too some pretty dark places- but in the end it was so dark it was an uplifting read.

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Released on: 27th July  so be sure to snag a copy here!

Was there any doubt I’d give it that rating? Are you gonna give this a go? Let me know in the comments!